Make sure your oil tank is safe this winter
KBB Fire Valve

Make sure your oil tank is safe this winter

If we asked you how many homes across the UK weren’t connected to the national grid, how many would you say? If we told you that the number is around 1.5 million would you be surprised? Wondering what they’re using? The answer to that is an heating oil tank.  Many using it prefer it to mains gas — it burns hotter than gas, so it warms a home quicker than gas or electric heaters. The systems are generally more efficient too, with less fuel wasted and more fuel converted into heat.

There are definite pluses to oil heating, and generally speaking, heating oil is safe, but only if you’ve taken the right precautions to make sure your tank and boiler are working properly.

Around 400 domestic fires are started by central and water heating appliances each year in the UK.  The potential consequences of fire can also never be underestimated; more than 200 people lose their lives to domestic fires each year, so how can you make sure you’re prepared if you’ve got an oil tank?

Take the right steps to protect yourself

Here’s our list of things you can do to make sure your oil heating is working properly and as safe as possible:

• Get your tank serviced regularly — an annual inspection from a technician registered with the oil-firing industry trade association, OFTEC, should keep your tank in good nick. Some manufacturers recommend six-monthly checks.

• Get your oil boiler serviced annually too — You can find local and trusted engineers who’ll be able to check your system is safe through the “Which?” website.

• Do regular checks yourself — every so often, look for signs of damage to your tank, any sign of leaks around pipes, valves and seams, that rainwater isn’t getting into vents, gauges or a tank bund, and any alarms or gauges are working properly.

• Add locks or lockable valves to your tank — The price of heating oil makes the proposition of stealing it an attractive one to thieves and they won’t care about damaging your tank in the process; adding locks will help to prevent theft and deter potential would-be criminals.

• Install a KBB Fire Valve — If your oil burning appliance overheats for any reason, it can easily catch fire. If you have a KBB Fire Valve installed, it detects overheating and will shut off the oil supply, cutting off the fuel supply to a fire or overheating appliance.

The KBB also detects heat from elsewhere in the home, shutting off the oil supply to starve the fire of fuel, lowering the chance of a runaway blaze (research has shown the average home can burn in just four minutes!)

All newer oil burning equipment should already have a fire safety valve fitted, but if your burner is more than ten years old or you inherited it from the previous homeowner, it may be missing this crucial component. The KBB Fire Valve is recommended by OFTEC to be fitted to any existed oil-fired appliances where one is not already installed.

For more information about the KBB Fire Valve, visit